Top Rope Media Presents: How to Pick a Name for Your Business
Cleantech San Diego member Top Rope Media is a is a San Diego-based digital marketing agency helping early to mid-stage startups in the outdoor and cleantech space create and execute highly-effective marketing strategies. Their services include strategic consulting, email, social media, paid media, PR, and web development.
The following blog was originally published in Top Rope Media’s Marketing Blog which provides marketing tips and strategies relevant to cleantech brands and businesses.
We all recall the words spoken by Juliet about her Romeo:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.”
— WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
Eventually, Juliet realizes how meaningful the Montague name truly is. We too can think about examples of how a carefully crafted business name, along with good branding to support it, is so important.
Think about Nike, Telsa, Patagonia, Dyson. What images or feelings do each of these bring to mind? A name and a good brand style should make you feel something. Whether positive or negative, it affects you.
The Best Business Names are Only Part of the Puzzle
Steps to Creating Your New Business Name, or Renaming Your Business
Here are a few things to think about when brainstorming new names for your green tech, cleantech, outdoor recreation, or non-profit business:
- Easy to pronounce and spell correctly
- Evokes optimism, hope, positivity
- Distinct from competitors in your space
- Easily adaptable
- Is it available
This last bullet: is your new business name available, is key. In today’s digital age, securing an online presence is crucial. Ensure that the domain for your business name is available for your website, social, and other platforms. In addition, you need to conduct thorough research to ensure that the name is not already in use by another business. Check for trademarks and legal considerations to avoid potential conflicts in the future.
Lastly, consider a name that is memorable and allows for flexibility in branding and marketing.
Example: How We Created Our Business Name – Top Rope Media
The name Top Rope Media came about through my love of rock climbing. ‘Top rope’ or ‘top roping’ is a climbing term. When my husband Tyler and I met 20 years ago in Athens, Greece, our connection was through rock climbing. We spent our first weekend together climbing in Meteora in northern Greece. Back on this side of the pond, our first few days were spent rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.
I will admit, the term ‘top rope’ also conjured up memories from my childhood as well. I fondly remember watching Hulk Hogan and Jake the Snake Roberts standing on the top rope of the WWF wrestling ring, leaping into the air, and crushing their opponents with a mighty pile-driver. BAM!
However, the wrestling-related images soon faded away, and we decided Top Rope Media fit most closely with our story, our passions, and more importantly, with the outdoor recreation industry we wanted to work with. We’ve since expanded from the outdoor industry to include brands in the cleantech and greentech space, but our passion for the outdoors and helping clients better tell their story remains.
Naming Your Business: Need Legal Help or Going It Alone?
If you need help with your new business name there are professional naming firms that can walk you through the process. There are also trademark attorneys to make sure your new name does not come too close for comfort to another trademarked brand. However, if you are starting up a small business without much capital, here are a few more blogs and books that might help!
Books about naming your company and building your brand:
- Building a Story Brand
- Naming Things: The Hardest Problem in Software Engineering
- Branding on a Shoestring: The Step-by-Step Guide to Brand Strategy, Naming Your Business, and Logo Design
Does the name Sunpower tell you immediately what this brand is and what they can do for you?
Choosing Your Business Name: Remember to Test it Out
In the end, once you have a list of a few names you can live with, make sure to test them. There are quite a few ways to accomplish this:
- What shows up when you Google your new business name?
- What do your family, friends, and peers think?
- Does anyone else use/own the domain name?
- Are your potential new business names available on X (Twitter) or LinkedIn?
Spend time with the key decision-makers of your company to review ideas and be open to suggestions. There’s definitely a lot to think about when choosing a name for a company that is helping to solve some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems. So, take your time with it. Maybe a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet.